Growing up, Malik Wilder fell in love with fishing. Thanks to the influence of his father, Malik learned to fish on the Rahway River in New Jersey, chasing anything and everything with fins. Those fishing lessons, he says, provided him with a solid foundation of patience and respect, and instilled in him a work ethic that remains to this day.
Seven years ago, Malik decided to share his love of fishing with the youth of his adopted home, Atlanta. The program, called Finding Inspiration Sharing Hope (F.I.S.H.) Inc., provides children around the area the same valuable lessons he learned as a kid. The program focuses on respect, teamwork, safety, and preparation, and aims to provide his students lessons that help on the water and in the classroom. From an introduction to the sport at Orvis Atlanta to the children catching their own fish on trophy waters near Helen, Georgia, the fly-fishing program covers everything a kid might need to know in order to begin a life on the water.
Last fall, Orvis partnered with F.I.S.H. Inc. to incorporate a fly-fishing element into the lessons, sending the program supplies and gear that would allow Malik to teach the kids the highlights of the sport. Over several Saturdays, Malik’s program put fly rods in the hands of children who otherwise would never have been exposed to them. According to Malik, fly fishing was a huge hit, and he plans to continue the fly-fishing course moving forward.
For more information on the program, or about how you can help, visit F.I.S.H. Inc.’s website.